Action4Agriculture announces scholarship for emerging leader with a passion for the Murray-Darling river system.

Action4Agriculture (A4A) is pleased to announce a new scholarship that will identify and empower an emerging young leader in the agricultural industry with a passion for the Murray-Darling River system, by granting a scholarship to the prestigious Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program.

Young people aged between 18 and 30 with a strong connection to the Murray Darling River System, who are undertaking post graduate studies or working in an agriculture related field are invited to apply for the Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program. Successful applicants will receive an incredible two-year package of support including media training, networking and mentorship opportunities. Graduates of the program join our Young Farming Champions alumni.

A4A program director Lynne Strong is excited about the scholarship.

“Australia is the hottest driest inhabited continent and water is a very precious resource we are all committed to using wisely,” she said. “The Murray–Darling Basin is the largest and most complex river system in Australia. It covers one million square kilometres of south eastern Australia and produces $24 billion worth of food and fibre every year. Its rivers and lakes support 120 waterbird species, 60 native fish species, and 16 protected wetlands and it is home to more than 40 of Australia’s First Nations.  It’s important that its story is shared with young Australians.”

The emerging young leader will learn the skills and develop the confidence to share their own personal story of the river and its connection to agriculture.  Australian Young Farmer of the Year Emma Ayliffe is a graduate of the program and believes the new scholarship will provide a valuable link between agriculture and water.

“Water use is quite a complex beast and my experience has shown me the community genuinely wants to learn more about how farmers use water, especially irrigation water,” she said. “It’s important to have trusted voices who can engage with the community and share our story; young people , in particular, who can explain how the river system is important to them. This scholarship offers a unique opportunity to do that.”

Once the first year of the Cultivate program is complete participants will have the opportunity to hone their advocacy skills and share their connection with the Murray-Darling by engaging with primary and secondary students with A4A’s in-school programs The Archibull Prize and Kreative Koalas. Graduates of the Cultivate program, like Emma, become Young Farming Champions (YFC).

Zoe Stephens, environmental educator for City Country Alliance of Schools, has previously worked with A4A’s in-school programs and values the contribution made by Young Farming Champions.

“Every one of the YFC I have had the pleasure of working with has been so passionate about their industry and because they’re young people the students can really connect to them,” she said. “It is vital that our students learn about the importance of the Murray Darling Basin and how we can care this precious resource. There is no one better to share this message than a YFC with their passion, enthusiasm and on the ground knowledge.”


Young Farming Champions include among their ranks 2022 National Rural Ambassador Dione Howard and NSW Rural Achiever Jessica Fearnley.

The 2022 Cultivate – Growing Young Leaders program scholarship information brochure can be found here.

Expressions of interest can be submitted here.



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